NFAS changes now part of audit
05 March 2018
Auditors have been gearing up to inspect lot feeding operations for compliance with the recently revised National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) Rules and Standards.
With the changes taking full effect on 1 March 2018, audits are now performed against the expanded Rules and Standards.
Bruce Kapernick is one member of the third-party national auditing team that works on behalf of the scheme’s manager, AUS-MEAT, to carry out certification audits at more than 400 NFAS-accredited feedlots every year.
He said having NFAS in place had given individual lot feeders a solid footing on which to grow.
“Once you get a structure in place that works, you just keep working at it,”
A revision of NFAS was introduced on 1 November 2017 after extensive industry-wide stakeholder consultation. Following a four-month implementation period, the changes took full effect on 1 March.
The changes focused on delivering increased clarity around animal welfare, incident reporting, risk analysis and planning, and equipment calibration, and included definitions of terms such as ‘feedlot’ in the context of grainfed beef.
“To ensure accredited feedlots were prepared for introducing the new requirements into their quality management systems prior to auditing of the requirements, the Australian Lot Feeders Association (ALFA) and the Feedlot Industry Accreditation Committee undertook a number of communication and extension activities,” committee chair Jim Cudmore said.
Workshops to explain the amendments were attended by more than 170 lot feeders and a comprehensive electronic information pack was emailed directly to all NFAS-accredited lot feeders nationally. Four case studies examining different perspectives on the changes on the changes were prepared by ALFA.
Scott Braund, general manager of feedlot and farms for Mort & Co, one of Australia’s biggest feedlots, was among those who shared their support for the update through a case study.
“This is a great example of well-orchestrated change,” Mr Braund said.
“You have to stay current. We’re being looked at and the fact we have a system means it needs to be credible and working.”
At the opposite end of the size scale, the reworking of the rules and standards was welcomed equally by Glenfyne Feedlot owner Graham Flynn. Mr Flynn said NFAS was important to his business.
“It provides a quality system that gives lot feeders guidelines to ensure we not only produce quality, certified grainfed beef but also meet other stakeholders’ needs in terms of food safety, environmental sustainability and animal welfare. NFAS is backed by AUS-MEAT and is independently audited as well, which gives it credence and integrity.”
- Jim Cudmore, Chair Feedlot Industry Accreditation Committee
- Graham Flynn, Glenfyne Feedlot
- Scott Braund, Mort & Co
- Bruce Kapernick, NFAS Auditor
Further information on NFAS is available from AUS-MEAT
T: 07 3361 9200
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